Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sauteed Chickpeas with Ham and Kale

Catching up with the blog...  This was a really yummy dish from Food & Wine.  I didn't realize it was intended as a side dish so it really only produced about 3 meal size portions.  In the future I might double it to have as a dish for two people to eat several times throughout the week! 

I had also never cooked with annatto seeds before, also called achiote.  After some internet research I found that annatto is often referred to as "poor man's saffron" and is used to give color to dishes.  A pinch of paprika or turmeric or a combo of both was most often recommended as a substitute. Turns out the Dill Pickle Co-op does sell bulk annatto seeds so I proceeded with the recipe as described.  Your local grocer might have some as well, if not try the pinch of paprika/turmeric substitution.


2 Tbso annatto seeds
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion cut into 1 inch dice
1 small can of diced tomatoes, some liquid drained off
one 4oz piece of smoked cured ham, sliced 1/2 inch thick and diced
salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
one 19oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped
fresh lemon juice

--In a small sauce pan cook the annatto seeds in the olive oil over low heat for 5 minutes.  Strain the oil through a seive over a bowl or jar and discard the seeds.  Set the infused oil aside

--In a larget skillet or dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of the annatto oil.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat until the onion starts to brown, about 8 minutes

--Add the tomates and ham and season with salt and pepper.  Cook over high heat for about 3 minutes.  Scrape the mixture into a bowl

--Wipe out the skillet or dutch oven, add the rest of the annatto oil (I didn't quite use all of it) and the garlic and cook over medium heat about 2 minutes. 

--Add the chickpeas and cook on med-high heat about 3 minutes, or until the chickpeas are about to brown

--Add the ancho chili powder, oregano and cook 1 minute

--Add the tomato and ham mixture and water and bring to a boil

--Lower the heat to medium, add the kale leaves, cover and cook until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes

--Stir in some lemon juice to taste (1-2 Tbsp) and season with salt and pepper

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